A sketch comedy show featuring some of Britain's great comedic talents of the 1980s and 1990s in one of their earliest TV appearances. Stars Robbie Coltrane, Ben Elton, Stephen Fry, Hugh Laurie, Siobhan Redmond and Emma Thompson,
Avante garde and sometimes quite dark, the show offered social commentary on Britain at the time of the rise of Thatcherism.
The 1981 revue, entitled "The Cellar Tapes", was broadcast on television in 1982. The revue won the first-ever Perrier Award at the 1981 Edinburgh Festival Fringe. It is a notable part of British television history because it includes early appearances by Stephen Fry, Hugh Laurie and Emma Thompson, all of whom went on to greater fame in the film and television industry.
It was written by Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie with Penny Dwyer, Kim Harris, Katie Kelly, Jan Ravens, Paul Shearer, Tony Slattery, and Emma Thompson and performed by Fry, Laurie, Dwyer, Shearer, Slattery, and Thompson. Additional material was provided by Anthony Berendt, Greg Brenman, David Tyler (as Dave Meek), Neil Mullarkey, Greg Snow, Nick Symons and Sandi Toksvig. The music is written by Steven Edis with Hugh Laurie and Tony Slattery (the exception being the music in the Dracula monologue which is Francis Poulenc's Concerto for Organ, Strings and Timpani in G minor). The director was Jan Ravens.